Q I just renewed my driver's license and was surprised that the new motorist handbook recommends driving with your hands at the 8-and-4 o'clock position rather than the traditional 10-and-2 position.

Lyle Nelsen

San Jose

A This was the subject of a major Roadshow debate years ago. Police have been training officers for a decade to hold the steering wheel at 8-and-4, i.e., the places where 8 and 4 appear on a clock. A couple of years ago the DMV concurred and now recommends either 8-and-4 or 9-and-3 in its handbook. Then last year AAA jumped on board, supporting 8 and 4.

2005: Driving instructor Harry Lampman adjusts the hands of Gregg Schultz, 16, before a driving lesson at  King’s Academy in Sunnyvale.  (Eugene H.
2005: Driving instructor Harry Lampman adjusts the hands of Gregg Schultz, 16, before a driving lesson at King's Academy in Sunnyvale. (Eugene H. Louie / Mercury News).

Traffic officials say 10-and-2 is not recommended because it can be dangerous in vehicles with smaller steering wheels and increases the risk of being injured when air bags deploy.

Q I see that when on Interstate 280 north I will eventually have a dedicated lane to get over to 880 north, which will be nice, though my kids will be sad when the current roller coaster ride on that section is finally removed. But what is the plan for the reverse trip from 880 south to 280 south? Will I need to get off at Stevens Creek Boulevard and cross at the light to get back on or will the direct ramp remain?

Deborah Wild

San Jose

A The south 880 ramp to south 280 will remain unchanged.

Q I commute from Walnut Creek to Moffett Field and head home at 3 p.m., trying to beat the commute. For as long as the express lane at 237-880 has been opened, the cost at around 3:05 p.m. has rarely been more than 90 cents, and no more than $1.40. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, the cost at 3:05 p.m. was $2.50, and one day $3.55. I've always understood that the heavier the traffic the more the toll, but at 3:05 p.m. the commute is just starting and to my experienced eye, there was no reason for that high of a toll. What's going on?

Ron Schaeffer

Walnut Creek

A VTA says speeds at that time of day on north 880 have fallen to as low as 18 mph in lanes for solo drivers north of the 237-880 interchange. Toll rates are based on speeds in all lanes, which is why it jumped to $3.55. The VTA also says that traffic on north I-880 has gotten heavier over the last few months, specifically during the evening commute.

Q Has there ever been talk of extending light rail to Cupertino? I'd vote for a tax to support that cause.

Craig Tomasello

A Almost two decades ago there was talk of extending light rail along Stevens Creek to De Anza College and down the median of Highway 85. But that soon died. Now the VTA is looking at expanding bus rapid transit on Stevens Creek from De Anza to the HP Pavilion. But this is many years away.

Q At several exit ramps on I-280 south in Millbrae there are signs that read "Bicycles Must Exit." Does this mean that cyclists are permitted to ride along the shoulder of I-280?

Bruce Halperin

San Francisco

A The CHP says southbound and northbound bicyclists may use the shoulder of I-280 between Hillcrest Drive and Trousdale Drive.

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